Daily Haiku —

Ruins by Nicholas A. Tonelli
(Image credit: Nicholas A. Tonelli)

past lives’ touch
reclaimed by the wild —


Master of the monomyth Joseph Campbell said that “[l]ife is without meaning. You bring the meaning to it. The meaning of life is whatever you ascribe it to be. Being alive is the meaning.”

Rubik's Cube scrambled
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of the ways that we create meaning in our lives is by surrounding ourselves with meaningful objects, things that imbue our lives with a unique sort of character. We have so many of these that it’s hard to count, but I’m compelled by this line of thought to consider the things I have which gain the least amount of use, yet I choose to hold on to them anyway: metal lunch boxes, 3D glasses, binoculars, Legos, Rubik’s Cubes, typewriters, safety razors, small glass bottles — utilitarian elements of times past; some were made even before my father was born, although the Legos are, for the most part, newer.

I remember the visions of the future we were brought by the late 20th century media, how everything was so austere; clean, white surfaces, friendly rounded corners and flowing edges, curved elements. Clutter was a thing of the past, presumably because everything we used was either hidden behind clever wall panels or consolidated into a single device. It was a vision of delight, if you like boring sterility in a world where everyone wears jumpsuits and latex gloves.

What happened to those spartan environments? Where are they now — all those post-modern living spaces reminiscent of Kubrik’s A Clockwork Orange? I don’t know a single person so devoid of culture and character as to want to live in a place like that.

We surround ourselves with stories in the form of physical items: mementos and tchotchkes, nicknacks and bric-a-brac, the flotsam and jetsam of a life worth its spice — a unique, real-world memory palace. We cast them against a backdrop of richly stained wood and painted colors from nature — because where else would colors come from? Note that we traditionally named the shades and hues after flowers and birds, elements like the sky and the sea. Without even thinking, we make our living places an extension of the natural world that has hosted our presence since time out of mind, because we could never divorce ourselves from it. How could we live in these bastions of sensory deprivation?

If I were asked what object my friends would most closely associate with me, I would find it hard to answer because as far as I know, I have no signature accessory. When I polled Facebook via status, I got answers ranging from my Jeep to my mohawk. Obvious answers, and perhaps telling because I couldn’t finish the phrase “he never goes anywhere without that dang _______!” Things like my car, my hair, my keys, my wallet, and my phone just don’t count.

But hey, how many people can you only associate with their phones, am I right?

What do these items I’ve collected and surrounded myself with say about me? Well, maybe they say that I’m a man of fine distinction with a penchant for not letting go of a fading past; or maybe — just maybe — I’m someone who misses a world where everyone’s nose is not buried in a smartphone.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll post a photo gallery of all my cool stuff.


Daily Tanka —

Welcome Summer
(Image credit: Christian R. H)

forever –
as time blooms anew
we unfold

finding our places
with best intention


Have you ever considered the roles that you’ve left in your wake on the journey to where you find yourself now? Continue reading Daily Tanka —

Weekly Photo Challenge: Let There Be Light! I: A Private Viewing

A Private Viewing


I took this picture this morning of a hibiscus in the guest room at the in-laws’ house. The light for this tree’s solitary bloom comes from beyond the blinds, and so can we blame it for wanting to enjoy the view?

This post was prompted by this week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge.

Secret Surfing Paradise


This is where we are today for my niece’s birthday party: little Harmon Lake is almost hidden, nestled away in the farm- and ranch land Northwest of Mandan. Continue reading Secret Surfing Paradise

Awesome cred from WP:

Awesome cred from WP:

If you get this, then you probably get why I think it’s awesome for WP to bring my attention that I reached this number of likes. I think the miracle is that I knew it right when I saw it!

Weekly Photo Challenge: An Unusual POV, #4: Proud o’ my wheels


So remember a couple weeks back when the wife and I drove up to Minot on a mission? (if not, check back later, I have to bedazzle all my posts after I get home every day)

Well, I am now revealing that the object of this mission was to get a respectable set of wheels, and before blogging about it I wanted to have my license plates. I got them in the mail yesterday and so I present to you the Surf Rider, my new used 1998 Jeep Cherokee. . .

from an unusual point of view.

This post was prompted by the Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge.

Weekly Photo Challenge: An Unusual POV, #3: Lost in the Woods


Today’s photo comes from my run. Part of the trail at the end of the River Road Trail was closed with fresh blacktop on it, so I had to improvise a route that would get me back to my usual path. I ended up following a dirt path up the side of the hill thinking I would come right out on the road. Surprisingly, I felt like I had gotten lost in the woods, and it was a ten-plus-minute hike that finally led me right to the path I wanted to be on. On the way I snapped this photo with my iPhone. Now, I’m not sure how unusual the POV had to be, but I liked the way the trees framed the trail behind me; this mostly forgotten trail became a doorway to the past for me.

This post was prompted by the Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge.

Today is opposite day!

Today is opposite day!

Today’s Daily Post prompt decrees that it is opposite day and claims that I have to post a photo because I normally write nonfiction. I found the perfect opportunity today when we stumbled across this impromptu product display at Target; afterward, Karisa changed it so it didn’t say anything intelligible – we have to think of the children, after all – but it was nice to see something like this that I didn’t have to do myself.

Leaving on a Jet Plane


… And I would just like to say that if I don’t make it, it was nice to be a blogger, even if just for a few short weeks. 🙂

Fitness myths: Busted!

I found this on Fit for a year and thought it would be great to share. I love infographics, and I love busting fitness myths.

Fitness myths - Busted